Double Your Revenue Using This Simple, Time-Tested Technique
What if I told you that you had 30 days to double the revenue in your business. What would you do?
Some people might say “get twice as much traffic." Others would say “get some sales training and learn how to double my “yes’s” Still others would argue “I need to double the number of people in the room that I am selling to.”
While all of these might be valid ways to double your revenue -- they are also hard.
Call me pessimistic, but I just don’t think I’m going to double my traffic in the next 30 days. I’m not going to suddenly be able to get twice as many people to say yes. I’m likely not going to double the number of people that I’m pitching to.
However, there is a much easier way. Enter the funnel.
What is a funnel?
A funnel is simply the path that your customers, clients or leads progress down, starting with your first interaction and ending with your goal being accomplished. As the name would suggest, a funnel is wider at the top and narrows as the prospect moves through it.
For example, this very blog post is a funnel. Chances are, you’ve never heard of me before so you are entering the very top of my funnel. (Hi, nice to meet you. My name is Brandon Turner and I sometimes talk about funnels and real estate investing.)
Later on, some of you will visit my website. An even smaller number will join my email list. Finally, an even smaller portion will buy a product from me or join our pro membership. My funnel begins with millions of people entering it, through guest posting, SEO, YouTube, podcasting and more. It ends with a very small number typing their credit card numbers into the computer.
Yes, this is pretty basic stuff, but I need to make sure we are all standing on the same foundation before I move on.
Mapping out your funnel.
Before we can start brainstorming all the ways that you are going to double your revenue, first we need to outline your entire funnel. This might be incredibly easy for you, or it might be a bit more complicated. Likely, your business has several funnels, but let’s just focus on your most profitable one right now.
Let me explain how to map out a funnel using a quick example, which we’ll call the “Webinar Funnel.”
Visitors to website
Join my mailing list
Subscribe to my webinar
Show up to my webinar
Convert and buy my product
Average lifetime value of a customer
The above funnel has six steps. Let’s go ahead and dive in deeper on that funnel, this time giving it some hypothetical numbers, so I can demonstrate my point easier. Before we can start making drastic changes to your bottom line, you first need to determine how your current funnel is working. There are a lot of tools you can use to analyze your funnel, from Google Analytics to our current favorite, MixPanel.
Below, in our example, we’ll assume 50,000 visitors come to our website, with 1 percent of them opting to join our mailing list. A free webinar is offered to those signups, and 10 percent of them sign up. But most people who sign up for webinars don’t show up, so let’s assume 20 percent actually attend. Of that 20 percent, we’ll assume 10 percent end up buying our product, and the average profit made on each signup for this webinar was $1,000. Therefore:
Visitors to website (500,000)
Join my mailing list (5,000, or 1 percent)
Subscribe to my upcoming webinar from introduction email (500 sign ups, or 10 percent)
Show Up to my webinar (100 show ups, or 20 percent)
Convert and buy my product (10 conversions, or 10 percent)
Average lifetime value of a customer ($1,000 times 10 equals $10,000)
In the above scenario, the “webinar funnel” from raw traffic took 500,000 people down to 10 sales of $1,000 profit a piece, resulting in $10,000 in total profit. Don’t worry if this funnel looks nothing like your own. It probably won’t, but I can almost guarantee you that you do have a funnel. So go ahead and write out yours now.
This is when the fun begins. Let’s double some revenue!
How funnels can double your revenue.
Remember at the beginning of this post I asked you how you would go about doubling your revenue in the next 30 days? I’m sure many of you thought of unique ideas to double your traffic or double your closing rate. However, the simple answer is you don’t need to double any one step of your funnel.
You just need small tweaks on each part. Small, incremental changes to each step of your funnel will result in greater changes than a massive increase on just one step.
A few moments ago we talked about the hypothetical "webinar funnel” and mapped out raw traffic from 500,000 visitors to $10,000 in revenue, using a variety of conversion rates throughout.
Now, let’s go ahead and make some changes to each part of the funnel. We aren’t going to double any part, we’re just going to set some reasonable goals on each.
Visitors to website (500,000)
Join my mailing list (6,000, or 1.2 percent)
Subscribe to my upcoming webinar from introduction email (720 sign ups, or 12 percent)
Show up to my webinar (173 show ups, or 24 percent)
Convert and buy my product (21 conversions, or 12 percent)
Average lifetime value of a customer ($1,000 times 21 equals $21,000)
Notice that we didn’t double any one step. We simple improved most steps slightly and we took the revenue from $10,000 to $21,000. We didn’t even change the traffic or the revenue per customer. Honestly, doubling is just the beginning.
Two incredible features of funnels.
The beauty of thinking in terms of funnels is two-fold:
1. You don’t need a miracle to increase revenue. Small changes are easy to obtain quickly and can usually be achieved with minor tweaks, split testing and innovative ideas. Trying to figure out how to double my traffic in the next 30 days, legally and sustainably, is next to impossible. Trying to figure out how to produce a 10 percent lift? Now, that’s doable.
2. Funnels give you specific goals to fight for. In my post here on Entrepreneur a few months back, Replace These Two Limiting Words From Your Vocabulary, I talked about the idea of switching your “I can’t” vocabulary to the simple question “how can I?” When you think in terms of funnels, each step becomes a “how can I” puzzle:
- How can I go from 1 percent to 1.2 percent opt ins? (Perhaps try implementing a slide-in pop up like the incredible one from SumoMe?)
- How can I get 24 percent of people to show up, rather than 20 percent? (Perhaps try split-testing the day you host your webinar/event?)
- How can I get 12 percent of people to convert, rather than 10 percent? (Perhaps try reading a book on sales or watching an expert salesperson do a live event?)
Suddenly, your business becomes a game, a code that can be cracked. You can achieve these numbers when you focus. Put your whole mind, and your team’s mind, to setting goals and achieving each goal in your funnel.
I call this the “If-if-if-then game.” If you can achieve your goal in step one, if you can achieve it in step two and if you can achieve it in the other steps, then you will hit your revenue goals at the bottom of the funnel, guaranteed.
It’s so simple, yet so powerful.
Here’s the simple point of my post today: small tweaks made to each part of the funnel can have a tremendous impact on your revenue. So:
- Have you outlined your funnel yet?
- Have you set goals for each step in that funnel?
- Have you doubled your income yet?
If not, I don’t know why you are still reading! Share this post, then outline your funnel, set some goals, crush it this week and double your income in the next 30 days.
Brandon Turner is a real estate entrepreneur and the VP of Growth at BiggerPockets.com, one of the web’s largest real estate investing communities. He is also the author of The Book on Rental Property Investing, The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down and several other books. Buying his first home at the age of 21, Turner quickly grew his real estate portfolio to over 40 units using a variety of creative finance methods. He and his wife Heather live in Grays Harbor, Wash.